In This Episode:
The Pull of Peoria is Real

Chris Setti was born and raised in Southern California. He and his wife, a Peoria native, settled in the area after having their first child. “The pull of Peoria was real … I kind of instantly fell in love with Peoria,” Chris says.

Chris and Eileen have now lived in the region for 20 years, 18 of which Chris has dedicated to attracting businesses and developing Greater Peoria. He has served in roles including Director of Economic Development and Assistant City Manager. Since 2018, Chris has served on the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, where he focuses on advancing the region’s economy by supporting business and talent development and attraction. The council promotes economic development in the region through five core programs including business attraction, business assistance, workforce development, innovation and startups and rural development.

But they don’t do it alone. The EDC works in collaboration with many local civic organizations. As Chris puts it, “We’re never likely to win the best lead actor in anything, but I hope we’re always nominated for best supporting actor.”

The Choose Greater Peoria movement has strengthened that alignment and expanded partnerships to include some of the largest employers in the region. The enhanced connectivity and coordination has facilitated conversations to help drive strategic priorities for Greater Peoria.   

It’s easy to tell that Chris genuinely loves Peoria. He’s proud of the coordinated effort to draw talent to the region and build a solid economic engine. But, what it still needs, he says, is louder voices advocating for the region. We hope this lively and insightful interview inspires you to do just that!

“It’s really about your assets and being able to describe your community. An individual’s decisions about where to live is not too far removed from a businessperson’s decision.”


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About Chris Setti

Chris Setti is the CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, a public-private organization that helps drive economic success in a five-county region of Central Illinois. Chris joined the EDC in 2018 after a 12-year career with the City of Peoria, where he served in a variety of roles including Director of Economic Development and Assistant City Manager. Prior to his work with the city, Chris spent 10 years working in social services in Chicago, Denver and Peoria.

Chris has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado-Denver. Chris grew up in Southern California but has called Peoria his home since 2003. His passion for developing and growing Greater Peoria comes from a personal place. He’s now lived in Peoria longer than anywhere else and considers himself a deeply rooted local.

Chris and his wife, Dr. Eileen Setti, have two mostly grown daughters and live in the historic Uplands neighborhood. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn if you’d like to learn more about his story and how he’s working to build a greater Greater Peoria.

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